The City of Irrigon continues to grow and expand to ensure the majority of service needs are provided to those within the city limits.
As part of this process and growth we the City Council have chosen to again establish our own law enforcement and thus not renew the contract with Morrow County Sheriff’s Office.
We have not made this decision lightly or selfishly but for the betterment and growth of Irrigon. Previously the Irrigon Municipal Court was established as part of this growth process. The court’s processes are proceeding accordingly.
So why bring law enforcement back in-house? Basically, the dollars spent are equal to contracting but provides improved responsibility, response, and authority as a city under Home Rule (ORS). Items of additional interest are as follows:
• Local ownership and autonomy of an officer(s) – local ownership
• Improved follow through on calls and responses
• Coverage and responses by the county Sheriff’s Office “are still required” under ORS (Oregon Revised Statues)
• The current contract ends with Morrow County (MC) on June 30, 2022 which was for code enforcement and extra patrol – through MC
• This is a City Council contract decision not a public vote and has been considered by council members for some time
• This is not a fiscal cut-back but improved ownership and oversight by the City Council
• Police response data is noted on the city web site under council agenda packets
• No new building is being built or was built. The county built a new building to consolidate county staff into one location (from various contracted locations) and a new Justice Court.
• MC will still have an Officer at the Irrigon Schools (paid half by MC and half school district)
• A listing of MC calls for service are listed in the council packets under “Sheriff’s Report”
We have instructed staff to proceed accordingly and they are working diligently to make the transition as smooth as possible. While certain responses may have their selective opinion, with several being outside the city limits, they do not reflect the clear direction and understanding of the public. We do appreciate the East Oregonian’s quick and brief article. While they reported clear information there is change ahead. The safety, response, and resolution of the City of Irrigon is very important we are moving forward and thank everyone for their positive and supportive approach during this time of change and transition.
Mayor Margaret Anderson
A neighborly community providing safe services, developing innovative partnerships, focusing on quality and life-giving opportunities
For Immediate Release: 8/24/21
Mosquitoes continue to test positive for West Nile virus in Morrow County
Morrow County, Ore.—West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, has been detected in four additional mosquito pools captured 8-17-21 from various testing sites in the rural areas of Boardman according to Oregon State University, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
We are advising people in Morrow County to take precautions against mosquitoes to avoid the risk of infection, including preventing mosquito bites. West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
People should consult their health care providers if they have these symptoms. Health care providers can contact the Morrow County Health Department for information on West Nile virus testing.
Mr. Barron offers these tips for protecting yourself against mosquitoes:
• Eliminate sources of standing water that are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including watering troughs, bird baths, ornamental ponds, buckets, wading and swimming pools not in use, and old tires.
• When engaged in outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, protect yourself by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin, and follow the directions on the container.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas.
• Make sure screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.
Additional information about West Nile virus:
Oregon Health Authority website: http://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/DiseasesAZ/WestNileVirus/Pages/survey.aspx
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
North Morrow Vector Control District
P.O. Box 192 / 3 Marine Drive
Boardman, OR 97818
541.481.6082 Voice / 541.481.6082 Fax
Morrow County Health Department
P.O. Box 799, Heppner, OR 97836
541.676.5421 Voice / 541.481.5652 Fax
Contact: * Gregory A. Barron, Manager
North Morrow Vector Control District
• Ana Pineyro, Health Educator / Communicable Disease Coordinator
Morrow County Health Department
• OHA Communications
Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139
The Irrigon City Council has been aware of the fiscal challenges of the City. In May 2018 they set utility rates in making progress on meeting the fiscal requirements for the utility (water and sewer) funds. The following breakdown is provided for Class I and Class II users. All other Class users should contact City Hall or the City Web page for the fee schedule. Additionally, user fees and Trash charges are also listed.
For more information or to see the full fee schedule please contact Aaron Palmquist, City Manager at 541-922-3047 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You too can call in if a City Street light is not working. If the lights does not come on or is blinking after dark please call UEC in Hermiston at 541-567-6414 or UEC in Boardman at 541-481-2220. You will need the pole number and the street where the pole is located. (Example: 5-N-27E #301992)
The following are procedures (steps) to ensure clear and consistent processing of dogs that may be abandoned or running at large. A key element is that all dogs are to be licensed and current with rabies vaccinations at all times, per City of Irrigon Municipal Code.
- If there is an abandoned dog(s) a person, City staff or Morrow County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) representative or Pet Rescue will call the issue (violation/complaint) into Morrow County Dispatch to log a call which creates an incident number.
- The incident number will be what tracks the situation and event (time, location, person(s) making call, address (nearest cross-streets) and any pertinent information).
- Individuals, staff, MCSO representatives should check with City Hall to see if there is a dog that has already been licensed or is reported missing. Additionally, neighbors within the vicinity of the “dog at large” should be contacted to see if may from the local area before considering transportation.
- An at large or abandoned/at large dog may be transported by an individual, staff or MCSO representative after receiving an incident number by calling into Morrow County Dispatch. Any individual transporting should have an Incident Number or they may be responsible for paying the charge at Pet Rescue (Hermiston, OR). Pet Rescue may assist by calling Morrow County Dispatch who could issue an incident number.
- If dog(s) are transported, individual, staff or MCSO representative will ensure the Incident number is recorded on the receiving receipt at Pet Recue. The yellow copy is to be turned into City Hall within seven business days. If after hours the yellow copy may be placed in the outside drop box on the east end of the building (between City Hall and the large parking lot).
- The current fine amount for a dog at large or non-license is $300.00.
This procedure is effective on June 26, 2017.
Question: How do I sign up for Water/Sewer service? An application for use of city water and sewer service needs to be completed and submitted to the City of Irrigon. An application may be obtained at Forms & Permits | City of Irrigon, Morrow County, Oregon. Each application for use of city water and sewer service shall be accompanied by a deposit which shall be held by the city to be applied toward any unpaid water and sewer charges due from the applicant. If an applicant is not the owner of the property for which service is being applied, the owner must also sign the water/sewer service application and agree that if the applicant fails to make payments, the bill shall become a charge to the owner of the said premises and a lien upon the real property thereof.
Question: How do I sign up for garbage pick-up? Garbage Pick-up service in Irrigon is through Sanitary Disposal, Inc. Pick up service is every Thursday. Their office is located at 81144 N. Hwy 395, Hermiston, OR, 97838. Their phone number is (541) 567-8842 and fax number is (541) 567-6481.
Question: What do I do if I want to build on my property? Complete a Permit and Planning Application for a site review or basic permitting, located at Forms & Permits | City of Irrigon, Morrow County, Oregon and submit to the City of Irrigon with corresponding fee.
Question: Where can I find information on the Development Code for the City of Irrigon? The Development Code for the City of Irrigon may be reviewed at the Irrigon City Hall located at 500 NE Main Avenue in Irrigon, Oregon or by clicking here City Code | City of Irrigon, Morrow County, Oregon
Question: What constitutes a nuisance in the City of Irrigon? A “nuisance” consists of doing an unlawful act, or failing to perform a duty, or suffering or permitting any condition or thing to be or exist, which act, omission, condition or thing either:
- Annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others; or
- Offends decency; or
- Is offensive to the senses; or
- Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct or renders dangerous for use any irrigation ditch, public park, parkway, square, street, highway, or sidewalk in the city; or
- In any way renders other persons insecure in life or the use of property; or
- Obstructs the free use of property so as to essentially interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property.
Question: What if I want a home business? A home business is referred to as a home occupation and a minor home occupation in the city code for the purpose to encourage those who are engaged in small commercial ventures that could not necessarily be sustained if it were necessary to lease commercial quarters, or which by the nature of the venture, are appropriate in scale and impact to be operated within a residence. A home occupation is contemplated when meeting the standards of a through f below, are allowed by right, provided the owner has a current business license and all other uses and structures on the subject property are in conformance with the applicable zoning. 1. Home Occupation: a. Appearance of Residence: (1) The home occupation shall be restricted to lawfully built enclosed structures and be conducted in such a manner as not to give an outward appearance of a business. (2) The home occupation shall not result in any structural alterations or additions to a structure that will change its primary use or building code occupancy classification. (3) The home occupation shall not violate any conditions of development approval (i.e., prior development permit approval). (4) No products and/or equipment produced or used by the home occupation may be displayed to be visible from outside any structure. b. Storage: (1) Outside storage, visible from the public right of way or adjacent properties, that exceeds what is customary for a single-family residence in the vicinity, is prohibited. (2) On site storage of hazardous materials (including toxic, explosive, noxious, combustible or flammable) beyond those normally incidental to residential use is prohibited. (3) Storage of inventory or products and all other equipment, fixtures, and activities associated with the home occupation shall be allowed in any structure. c. Employees: (1) Other than family members residing within the dwelling located on the home occupation site, there shall be not more than one full time equivalent employee at the home occupation site at any given time. As used in this article, the term “home occupation site” means the legal lot on which the home occupation is conducted. (2) Additional individuals may be employed by or associated with the home occupation, so long as they do not report to work or pick up/deliver at the home occupation site. (3) The home occupation site shall not be used as a headquarters for the assembly of employees for instruction or other purposes, including dispatch of employees to other locations. d. Advertising and Signs: Signs shall comply with all applicable sign regulations. In no case shall a sign in the residential district exceed four (4) square feet of surface area on all sides. e. Vehicles, Parking and Traffic: (1) One commercially licensed vehicle associated with the home occupation is allowed at the home occupation site. It shall be of a size that would not overhang into the public right of way when parked in the driveway or other location on the home occupation site. (2) There shall be no more than three (3) commercial vehicle deliveries to or from the home occupation site daily. There shall be no commercial vehicle deliveries during the hours of ten o’clock (10:00) P.M. to six o’clock (6:00) A.M. (3) There shall be no more than one client’s or customer’s vehicle at any one time and no more than eight (8) per day at the home occupation site. f. Business Hours: There shall be no restriction on business hours, except that clients or customers are permitted at the home occupation from eight o’clock (8:00) A.M. to ten o’clock (10:00) P.M. only, Monday through Friday, subject to subsections a and e of this section. g. Prohibited Home Occupation Uses: (1) Any activity that produces radio, TV, or other electronic interference; noise, glare, vibration, smoke, or odor beyond allowable levels as determined by local, state or federal standards, or that can be detected beyond the property line, is prohibited. (2) Any activity involving on-site retail sales, including garage sales exceeding the thresholds of a temporary use, is prohibited; except that the sale of items that are incidental to a permitted home occupation is allowed. For example, the sale of lesson books or sheet music from music teachers, art or craft supplies from arts or crafts instructors, computer software from computer consultants, and similar incidental items for sale by home business is allowed subject to subsections a through f of this section. (3) The following uses and uses with similar objectionable impacts because of motor vehicle traffic, noise, glare, odor, dust, smoke or vibration, are prohibited: (A) Ambulance service; (B) Animal hospital, veterinary services, kennels or animal boarding; (C) Auto and other vehicle repair, including auto painting; and (D) Repair, reconditioning or storage of motorized vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, airplanes or large equipment on site. h. Enforcement: The city manager or designee may visit and inspect the site of a home occupation in accordance with this chapter periodically to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, during normal business hours, and with reasonable notice.
Question: How tall can my weeds get before I have to mow? Weeds need to be mowed when they become a fire hazard or injurious or detrimental to the public health or welfare and to create an unsightly or unsanitary condition. Weeds and grass should not be any higher than 8 inches at any given time.
Question: Am I responsible for the right-of-way up keep around my house? Yes, from the property line to the roadway, which is hard surfaced or where the hard surface should be is the continuing obligation of the adjacent property owner. This includes all facing roadways of one’s property, particularly if a corner lot.
Question: How many cars can I have at my residence? There is not a maximum number of registered vehicles allowed at a residence, but parking is allowed only on streets, within garages, carports, and other structures, or on driveways or parking lots.
Question: I have several old cars that are not in my driveway, am I in violation? It depends on whether the cars are inoperable vehicles as defined in the City of Irrigon Code. A person wishing to keep an inoperable vehicle on their property outside of a garage, carport or driveway must obtain a permit from the city of Irrigon. The application for such a permit must be accompanied by signatures from the owners of property within two hundred fifty feet (250′) of the subject property.
Question: What is the burn policy? Permission is required for the burning of any grass, grains, stubble, debris or other combustible materials in all areas in the State of Oregon. The Irrigon Rural Fire Protection District allows open burning by permit. Permits are valid when the following conditions are met:
- Prior to burning, permit holder is required to contact Morrow County Dispatch, (541) 676-5317, to find out if burning is authorized for that day.
- Permit holders shall have adequate fire protection in place to control fire.
- Weather conditions do not exceed any of the following:
- A. Temperature above 90 degrees
- B. Wind above 15 mph
- C. Humidity below 20%
- Permit holder is not burning any prohibited materials.
- Permit holder remains with fire until fire is out or extinguished.
- The State Fire Marshall or District Fire Chief has authority on open burning in the fire district
Within the boundaries of Irrigon Fire District, the Fire Chief or his designated representative has the responsibility for such permits. The Irrigon city hall will issue fire permits. It is a violation of the law to conduct any open burning that:
- Unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or endangering property of others.
- Creates a public or private nuisance.
- Is a hazard to public safety
- To burn any of the following materials
- A. Rubber Products
- B. Tires
- C. Plastic
- D. Wet Garbage
- E. Petroleum & Petroleum Treated Materials
- F. Asphalt or Industrial Waste
- G. Materials that Creates Dense Smoke or Noxious Odors
- E. Petroleum & Petroleum Treated Materials
Permit holders are responsible for all fires they start. Permit holders may be liable for costs incurred for the suppression of and or damages to property of others. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to notify the Fire Department immediately in the event the permit holder loses control of the fire (Call 911). Open burning violations can result in penalties of up to $10,000 per day of violation. ORS 478.965 allows for the district to recover costs of suppressing unlawful fires and attorney fees. Unlawful fire is identified under ORS 477.740 as:
- Unlawfully set fire without a fire permit
- Intentionally or negligently allows fire to escape
- Accidently set or allows to escape from control without extinguishing
Has knowledge of a fire burning and fails or neglects to make effort to control. Outdoor family functions such as BBQ pits or hot dog roasts are not subject to the open burning policy. A separate permit is required for each property location. All outdoor open burning must be completely extinguished at sundown. Burning after sundown is allowed only by special permit and can be obtained at the Irrigon Fire Department.
Question: Can I burn my garbage in a burn barrel year round? Burn barrels and incinerators are prohibited as of 10/1/11.
Question: Who is responsible for the upkeep in my alley way? The City of Irrigon is responsible for the removal of weeds, noxious weeds, grass, vegetation, rubbish, debris or decomposing animal or vegetable matter or any other substance causing any fire hazard or creating an unsightly or unsanitary condition or a condition injurious to the public health or welfare in city alleys. Disposing/dumping of items, such as grass clippings, brush or tree cuttings/limbs will subject individuals and/or adjacent property owners to fines.
Question: How many dogs can I have? A maximum of six (6) dogs may be kept on any residential property within the City of Irrigon as long as frequent or habitual howling, yelping or barking does not annoy or disturb the comfort or repose of any person or persons in the vicinity. All dogs must be vaccinated for rabies and licensed annually.
Question: How many cats can I have? The keeping of three (3) or more cats is a public nuisance.
Question: What kind of animals can I have and can I have them in town? Dogs and cats are allowed in town as long as frequent or habitual howling, yelping or barking does not annoy or disturb the comfort or repose of any person or persons in the vicinity. A maximum of six (6) dogs and two (2) cats may be kept on any residential property. The following rules apply to large and medium sized agricultural animals in residential and rural residential single-family zones. a) Enclosure space (A small, fenced-in location such as a pen, corral, run, or other non-permanent holding area for an agricultural animal) and pastures (A fenced-in location that is planted in pasture grass or other accepted forage and is irrigated and its purpose is to graze agricultural animals). These both will not include driveways or other right of way easements, residential yards, or open space that is not fenced and dedicated as animal enclosure or pasture space. b) Enclosures, animal runs, barns, and pens shall be located at least seventy feet (70′) from the front property line and at least fifty feet (50′) from any adjacent residence. c) Number of Animals Allowed: The total number of all large and medium-sized animals allowed in a pasture or enclosure (not including young less than 6 months old) will be allowed as follows:= I. Horses or cows on pasture deemed to be “excellent” – Total animals = 2 per acre; II. Horses or cows on pasture deemed to be “good” or “poor” – Total animals = 1 per acre; III. Sheep, lama, and goats on pasture deemed to be “excellent” – Total animals per acre = 4; IV. Sheep, lama, and goats on pasture deemed to be “good” or “poor” – Total animals = 2 per acre; V. Other domestic farm animals: One miniature horse = one horse; one low-line cow = one cow; one llama = one goat; one swine = one goat. Other domestic animals not specifically mentioned will be determined by the planning official and/or city official. d) Sacrifice Areas. Small fenced-in areas near a pasture usually used to temporarily keep animals off a pasture while it regrows The following rules apply to bare-ground sacrifice areas: I. Confining animals for more than 45 days in the sacrifice area can define the area as an animal feeding operation, which is not allowed within the City limits; II. No rain or irrigation water is allowed to run off from a sacrifice area; III. Manure must be managed so that animals are not standing in or on their own waste. Failure to manage manure in sacrifice areas constitutes a nuisance and a health hazard for the animal and for humans. e.) Forage Condition and Pasture Management. 1) Pastures with excellent forage condition must have the following characteristics: I. Forage is at least 6 to 8 inches in height with healthy root systems at least as deep as the forage height; II. Irrigation has been managed to keep plants thriving without allowing for wasteful runoff of irrigation water from the enclosure space area; III. Fertilizers, if utilized, have been applied at appropriate agronomic rates. 2) Pastures with good or poor forage condition have the following characteristics: I. Good forage is between 3 and 6 inches in height with shorter, less healthy root systems not deeper than the plants’ height, there may be evidence of overgrazing. II. Poor forage is less than 3 inches or lacking and root system is also less than 3 inches in depth or lacking. III. Irrigation may be well managed or patchy; IV. No evidence of fertilizer use. f.) Chickens, fowl and/or rabbits are allowed if the total number over the age of six (6) months will not exceed one per five hundred (500) square feet of enclosure space. All animals of such as to create offensive smells, noises, and conditions in the vicinity in which they are kept are a nuisance and are not allowed. No person shall own, keep or harbor any dangerous or exotic animals in the City of Irrigon.
Question: Can I have a well on my property inside city limits? In low density residential zones, if a public water system is not available, existing individual wells may be used in such a manner that an adequate supply of potable water will be available. Water samples shall be tested, and individual well and central water systems shall be approved in accordance with state requirements. Orders of approval shall be submitted to the city. Any property with a private well that is used for irrigation must have a double-check valve system installed by a licensed plumber and inspected annually. Such permit information and requirements can be obtained at City Hall.
Question: Are semi-trucks and trailers allowed inside city limits? Any motor vehicle used for commercial/business purposes, whether permanent or temporary having a weight of 18,000 pounds (GVW or GVWR) or more used for carrying/pulling loads are only allowed on a truck route. The truck routes are US 730, SE Fifteenth St, SE Division St., the first 120 feet South of US 730 on SE First Street. Commercial trucks may be permitted and operated on roads and streets not designated as truck routes under Section 1 as follows: i. Operation of authorized emergency vehicles. ii. Emergencies declared by public officials or public act. iii. For the operation of commercial vehicles involved in picking up or discharging goods at a business establishment or residence in the City from a non-designated street/route. iv. Utility vehicles when responding to emergencies or when installing, repairing, or maintaining a public utility or accessed from a non-designated street. v. Commercial truck may operate to service construction sites assessed from a non-designated street. vi. Garbage and recycling collection commercial trucks when providing services to premises accessed from a non-designated street. vii. When re-routed by the City or pursuant to the City’s approval as a result of an emergency situation, construction on or along a truck route, or other circumstance requiring a detour. Except in an emergency as described in subsection 2(a)(i) and (ii) or when directed to use a specific route as described in subsection 2(a)(vii), a commercial truck lawfully operating off a truck route pursuant to subsection 2(a) of this section shall use the most direct route to and from the closest designated truck route.
The City has a hybrid system where part of the properties are served by what is commonly known as conventional sewer and some have the effluent system (septic tanks for holding solids).
Conventional Sewer: This is where developments (businesses or residences) have an outlet which connects to the system at the property line.
City Responsibility: The City is responsible to ensure the property has a clean connection at the property line for the property to connect with. Once in the sewer mainline it is the City’s responsibility to maintain the system and equipment that is in the right-of-way and on public property.
Property Owner/Renter Responsibility: Property owner/renter is to ensure plumbing is correctly installed and maintained on their respective property. This will include a clean-out and ensure no Fats, Oils, Greases (FOG), plastic, chemicals, toys, diapers and any sort of trash such as wipe ups or cigarette butts enter the sewer system. Charges will apply for wrongful discharges.
Effluent Sewer (septic tank): This part of the system is where properties have a septic tank located on the property. This tank holds the solids with the “black” water being gravity drained or pumped to the city main system.
City Responsibility: The City is responsible from the inlet baffle of the septic tank to the mainline in the public right-of-way. Tanks are cleaned, pumped and serviced on a 5-year rotation. Some tanks may require more frequent servicing. Some systems have a pump (power and breaker system) that is maintained by the City.
Property Owner/Renter Responsibility: Property owner/renter is to ensure plumbing is correctly installed, which includes a cleanout, from the structure/home to the inlet baffle of the (septic) tank. No Fats, Oils, Greases, plastic, chemicals, toys, diapers and any sort of trash such as wipe ups, cigarette butts are to enter the sewer system (septic tank). Charges will apply for wrongful discharges. Trees and shrubs should not be planted close to interfere with the operation of the system (a minimum of 5 feet from the tank and discharge lines should be followed). At no time can anything be built over the fill-line, tank or discharge line. Remember – 2 table spoons of Drain”O” can kill your septic tank!!!
What if I am selling my property?
Home Sale Sewer inspections can be done for a fee on request to those who have the Effluent City Sewer System.
What if I have a Sewer Emergency?
If you are on the conventional sewer system it is the responsibility of the property owner/renter to call a plumber and pay the bill. The City does not take responsibility for blockages and clogs on the private property.
If the property is serviced by the Effluent system the City will respond as rapidly as possible. The City will inspect and determine if the problem lays within City responsibility. If any blockage, clog, FOG, or wrongful call out the City will charge the property a minimum of $126.00. The best time to call is within regular business hours. After hours may cost the property if not the City’s responsibility.